The Los Angeles Dodgers’ injury-riddled starting rotation took another hit on Tuesday when Alex Wood was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left posterior elbow soreness. An MRI the following day revealed Wood has a posterior impingement in the left elbow, which will require at least four weeks of rest.
In his place the Dodgers recalled Julio Urias from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The heralded prospect made his Major League debut last week against the New York Mets at Citi Field. His spot start was a result of Wood having his scheduled outing pushed back due to left triceps soreness.
As most young pitchers do, Urias struggled with his command, allowed three runs and labored through 2.2 innings. While it was clear the young left-hander would have plenty of opportunities to build on the start, it wasn’t necessarily expected to come by Thursday.
Urias welcomes the chance to put his talent on display and establish himself in the Dodgers’ rotation, according to Andy McCullough of the LA Times:
“It’s another opportunity for me to be up here,” Urias said through an interpreter. “I’m going to fight and do everything I can to be able to prove that I need to remain here, and to be able to stay here.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed confidence in Urias tackling the challenge of facing the Chicago Cubs on the road:
“We’re checking some boxes early for Julio,” Manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday. “Sometimes you want a softer landing for a young pitcher. But with his makeup, and obviously the stuff, I’m sure he can handle it.”
The Dodgers have carefully monitored Urias’ workload since signing him out of Mexico soon after his 16th birthday. As fate has it, his first experience in the Majors comes in back-to-back starts against the 2015 National League Championship participants.
Urias was 4-1 over eight games (seven starts) with Oklahoma City, and led the Pacific Coast League with a 1.10 ERA and 0.78 WHIP. His scoreless streak remains on hold and intact at 27 innings.
Urias was scheduled to start Thursday for OKC. In sending him to the hill against the Cubs, the Dodgers are providing Kenta Maeda with an extra day of rest as he’s battling residual swelling in his throwing hand after being struck by a line drive in his previous start.